Sunday, January 04, 2009

How to Change a Flat Tire

Flat tires happen to all of us. While they may be a pain, they are far from impossible to change. Anyone can change one. It doesn't matter if you're male or female, big or small, mechanic or clueless - you can do it. Take a look at these step-by-step instructions for ideas on how to do it.

1. Pull off the road as far as possible. Never attempt to change flat tire in the middle of the road. If this means driving on the rim for a short distance until you find a safe place to pull over (such as a parking lot), then so be it. It is unsafe to change a tire on a road or highway, not to mention illegal.

2. Remove the spare, jack and tire iron from the trunk, and lay them next to your work area. If you're going to change a flat tire in a reasonable amount of time, it's important to have everything you need right there.

3. Loosen each of the 4 lug nuts slightly before you jack the car up. This makes it easier to remove them once the car is lifted. Only loosen them a maximum of 1/2 turn before jacking the car up.

4. Jack the car up using the jack points that are situated around each of the car's 4 corners. Consult the manual if needed for this step.

5. Remove the 4 lug nuts the rest of the way. Set them aside in a place where they won't get lost (remember, your work area is the side of the road). If needed, place them in the car or your pocket until you are ready for them.

6. Pull off the old wheel and tire, and place it directly in the back of your trunk.

7. Slide on the spare tire, and hand tighten each of the 4 lug nuts as much as you can.

8. Tighten the lug nuts the rest of the way using the tire iron. When all 4 are fairly tight, crank them down using the tire iron. Remember, you don't want the wheel coming off, so get them tight.

9. Place the jack and tire iron in the trunk as well. You're done changing it at this point!

10. Drive a few miles, then when it's safe to do so, stop and crank the lug nuts down again with the tire iron. This will help make sure they are secure and won't come off.

11. Get the flat tire patched or replaced at a shop as soon as possible. You can't drive over 50 mph on most spares, and they shouldn't be used for extended periods of time.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Tires flatten up due to excessive use, the debris that punctures the tire, and over-inflation and under-inflation. It is vital that you know how to replace your tires, since it will be easier for you to handle situations like being stuck in the middle of the road. And before you leave your home, you should check not only the tire but also the critical parts of your car.

This entry made me remember the first time that I had a flat tire. Unfortunately, a nail had punctured my tire. I cautiously went to the side of the road to check the situation and I tried to replace the tire. After which, I called my mechanic at the auto repair (Indianapolis) in our place to repair my flat tire since my spare won't really last that long on the road.